Forbes has conducted an extremely thorough interview with director Zack Snyder. In it, he covers just about everything there is to discuss about Batman vs Superman. From how Batman came to be involved in the film, to his views on the characters, to the costumes, his philosophies, and more, Snyder speaks quite candidly.
Read on to see what Snyder has in mind for his upcoming DC epic. But keep in mind that some of this sounds cooler than it actually is, since Snyder is prone to talking about elements in his films that don't actually exist- except for maybe in his head.
Here's how Batman came to be involved in the sequel to Man of Steel, according to Snyder. Though I think interviewer Mark Hughes's theory from a few months ago was also a likely factor, as well.
"[...]after Man of Steel finished and we started talking about what would be in the next movie, I started subtly mentioning that it would be cool if he faced Batman. In the first meeting, it was like, 'Maybe Batman?' Maybe at the end of the second movie, some Kryptonite gets delivered to Bruce Wayne’s house or something. Like in a cryptic way, that’s the first time we see him. But then, once you say it out loud, right? You’re in a story meeting talking about, like, who should [Superman] fight if he fought this giant alien threat Zod who was basically his equal physically, from his planet, fighting on our turf… You know, who to fight next? The problem is, once you say it out loud, then it’s kind of hard to go back, right? Once you say, 'What about Batman?' then you realize, 'Okay, that’s a cool idea. What else?' I mean, what do you say after that?"
This should also put to bed the "Kryptonite Will Never Exist In Snyder's Superman Universe" theory that many fans have run with. He never said that. He said something like it, which many fans took a certain way and repeat it to this day. But clearly, he's open to Kryptonite being introduced.
Snyder also reveals, once again, that he doesn't think Superman is a very relatable character- which explains many of his decisions in Man of Steel. This isn't the first time Snyder has acted like he doesn't get the character, but here's the latest example:
"I think Batman — now after Chris [Nolan]‘s movies and the way we track Batman through his cinematic history — he does have this license to enter our world and be a real character and not a complete cartoon, and he’s able to tell us about the way we live and our society. He moves with us, his morality — I think Superman probably less so, but I think Batman definitely sort of reflects us in a more personal way.
[...] I think with Superman we have this opportunity to place this icon within the sort of real world we live in. And I think that, honestly, the thing I was surprised about in response to Superman was how everyone clings to the Christopher Reeve version of Superman, you know? How tightly they cling to those ideas, not really the comic book version but more the movie version… If you really analyze the comic book version of Superman, he’s killed, he’s done all the things– I guess the rules that people associate with Superman in the movie world are not the rules that really apply to him in the comic book world, because those rules are different. He’s done all the things and more that we’ve shown him doing, right? It’s just funny to see people really taking it personally… because I made him real, you know, I made him feel, or made consequences [in] the world. I felt like, it was the same thing in Watchmen. We really wanted to show it wasn’t just like they thought, like the PG-13 version where everyone just gets up and they’re fine. I really wanted to show the violence is real, people get killed or get hurt, and it’s not fun or funny. And I guess for me, it was like I wanted a hero in Superman that was a real hero and sort of reflected the world we live in now…"
See how Snyder used the "Everyone is hung up Christopher Reeve" copout? See how he spoke about real world consequences...which were actually nowhere to be found in Man of Steel? Charming. Snyder continues to completely mis-diagnose and give empty excuses for why his Superman film divided fans. Reeve and Donner have nothing to do with Man of Steel's issues. Also, relatability is highly overrated.
But what about the costumes? Are we going to get a reveal anytime soon, Mr. Snyder?
"The thing also that’s really fascinating for me is that, even just in the tests we’ve been doing, the costumes, right? You basically have Batman and Superman — and this is without Ben [Affleck] and Henry [Cavill] in the costumes, but just like the stand-ins, just testing to see what the costumes look like. And you have them standing there and they’re standing in the same shot — and then we have Wonder Woman, you know, all three of them in the same shot. Even just for a test, you really have to go, 'Wow, that’s crazy!' Not only is it the first time that I’m seeing them, it’s the first time they’ve ever existed together on screen in a movie. And that’s kind of a huge deal. Even just Batman and Superman standing next to each other… [I]t’s kind of epic. You do sort of sense the weight of the pop culture iconography jumping out of its skin when you’re standing there looking at the two of them and Wonder Woman. It’s crazy. But it’s fun. I mean, I have the first photo, I’ve got it in my archive because I was like, 'Okay, I better keep this, it’s gonna be worth something,' [laughs]!
"Unfortunately, I don’t even know the timeline… Because the movie takes place so far from now, it’s hard to know exactly. That all gets tied to marketing and strategies for the movie. It’s not just a free-for-all, which I’d love it to be. Because I take a picture of the suit with my camera– I’m actually staring at one right now in my office. And it’s just massive on my wall in my office and it’s epic, let me tell you! And I’m like, 'God, I want to send this to the Internet immediately.' But I know I’m not allowed to [laughs]! I do value the sort of excitement of the way the film is [revealed]…
"But, when we finally do show it, it’s gonna be real fun. And it’s true, you gotta make sure– you’re gonna want the real shot…"
What does Snyder think of the Marvel vs DC rivalry that so many fans seems to be obsessed with lately?
"Look, I’m a fan of the Marvel movies… and the thing that’s awesome is, we make a different movie. We have a different product than them, although they both exist in sort of the superhero world, which is great. I think that those are the opportunities. That’s what you get at the movies, you get a chance to go to all these different worlds. And I’m as interested in going to the Marvel Universe as anybody. So, I personally don’t think that there’s any, from my point of view, we definitely don’t have any animosity or anything of that nature. We’re all in this big business together, and we hope people are interested in the adventures that we put up on screen. And I do believe it’s infectious, and the next weekend you’re like, 'You know what? Let’s go do that again, that was awesome. We saw a cool movie, maybe we’ll get another cool movie.'"
He covers a lot more in the in-depth interview, including talking a bit about how much The Dark Knight Returns spoke to him when he first read it in college. He doesn't go so far as to say that it's the basis of his Man of Steel sequel, but Snyder puts it up there with Watchmen as a book that was really about something.